HIMSS, PCHAlliance urge FCC to move quickly on widespread broadband
In a June 8 letter to Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the Personal Connected Health Alliance asked the agency to encourage and enable the adoption and accessibility of broadband-enabled healthcare solutions, especially in rural and underserved areas of the country.
HIMSS is a nonprofit organization focused on better health through the use of healthcare information technology, with more than 65,000 members. The PCHAlliance it a nonprofit organization created by HIMSS.
HIMSS and PCHAlliance noted that rural healthcare needs are as varied as the communities and the choice of technology to improve both access and quality of care has to take into account local conditions.
The two organizations also stressed their strong support for flexibility throughout the systems and regulations governing broadband access.
They called for clarity in funding opportunities, including the elimination of retrospective discounting in the Rural Health Care Program, as well as efforts to increase the availability of short-term access by individuals to broadband connections to enable the use of remote patient monitoring and other chronic disease management programs that require connectivity to patients’ homes.
HIMSS and PCHAlliance support efforts to allow reseller access to fixed and mobile broadband networks, as it currently exists for telephone networks. The goal is to foster a business environment that enables management of multiple contracts across large and diverse healthcare systems.
As the two organizations see it, remote-based monitoring and home-based primary care for those with chronic conditions is a prime example of how the Internet of Things and ubiquitous broadband can empower patients, improve health, and make healthcare service delivery more efficient.